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May 18, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Junior Katie Borchers and senior Ashlee Abraham captured individual Big Ten titles on the final day of the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships at Rankin Track and Field in West Lafayette, Ind., helping the Ohio State women’s track and field team to an eighth-place team finish.

Borchers won the first Big Ten title of her career in the 800-meter run, besting her own school record in the process with a winning time of 2:05.17, a Top-25 performance in Division I this season and Rankin Track record. She edged runner-up Bre’Anna Smith of Purdue by a tenth of a second to take home the gold medal.

“I’ve worked so hard for this all year going through a lot of ups and downs on the road, but I’m just so happy and blessed,” Borchers said following the race. “I don’t have words for it. We came in Friday with fresh legs, took care of ourselves and rested. Nobody’s fresh the second day so it’s really just about how bad you want it.”

Abraham, the reigning conference 60-meter champion, retained her title as the fastest woman in the Big Ten with a gold-medal performance in the 100-meter dash. Abraham crossed the finish line in a time of 11.51, edging defending Big Ten champion Mahagony Jones of Penn State for the second individual conference title of her career.

“My team and I have been through a lot of ups and downs this year throughout the season,” Abraham said. “Even at this meet, it didn’t go as well as I wanted it to. To take that win, it meant a lot to me.”

As a team, Ohio State closed the meet with 64 points. No. 15 Penn State won the conference title for the second year in a row with 134 team points. Nebraska was the runner-up with a score of 102.5.

Other Buckeye highlights from the final day of competition:

Senior Chesna Sykes also scored for the Buckeyes, crossing the finish line fourth overall in a season-best time of 11.66.

100m Hurdles
Junior Alexandria Johnson and sophomore Alexis Franklin finished fourth and sixth, respectively. Johnson posted a personal-best time of 13.37 seconds and Franklin a season-best time of 13.43.

Seventh place went to freshman Aaliyah Barnes in a time of 24.13.

Sophomore SoSo Walker used a personal-best time of 53.10 to earn a silver medal for the Buckeyes. Barnes was eighth in a time of 54.64.

400m Hurdles
A personal-best time of 57.10 – the third-fastest time in school history and eighth-best time in Division I this season – helped Franklin, the defending conference champion, to a silver medal behind No. 1-ranked Kiah Seymour of Penn State.

Sophomore Tammy Berger was eighth overall in a personal-best time of 4:25.03, the third-best time in school history.

A 49.46-meter (162-30.00) and personal-best heave helped junior Carly Pendleton to a fourth-place finish.

Triple Jump
Junior Bianca Walton was 11th overall at 12.00 meters (39-4.50).

4x100m Relay
The three-time defending champions in the event, Ohio State stumbled to a seventh-place time of 46.25. Iowa claimed the conference title in a time of 44.62, followed closely by Penn State (44.64).

4x400m Relay
Ohio State raced to a sixth-place and season-best time of 3:39.13. Penn State placed first in 3:33.73.

Final Team Standings
No. 15 Penn State – 136 points
Nebraska – 102.5
Purdue – 89
Iowa – 86
Michigan – 86
Michigan State – 85
Minnesota – 75.5
Ohio State – 64
Indiana – 39
Wisconsin – 35
Illinois – 21

Ohio State Point Breakdown (64 Team Points)
100m – 15
800m – 10
400m – 9
100m hurdles – 8
400m hurdles – 8
Discus – 5
4x400m relay – 3
4x100m relay – 2
200m – 2
1500m – 1
10000m – 1

Ohio State returns to action in two weeks at the NCAA East Regional Preliminaries in Jacksonville, Fla. The three-day event is scheduled for May 29-31.